Agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey,

Agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.

What exactly is inspiring the models to move in TBWA\C\D’s iPod ads? “I heard OutKast too many times,” says photographer Matthew Welch, who shot 12 models, four of whom made it to the final campaign. There were also more obscure tunes: “A lot of electronica and crazy rock stuff.”

The creative team had asked the models to bring along their own music. “We wanted that personalness, that authenticity of somebody dancing to what moves them,” explains art director Susan Alinsangan, who conceived the campaign after a man wearing an iPod crazily gyrated across the street while she was driving.

Alinsangan and copywriter Tom Kraemer boiled down that sight to its basics for the outdoor and print campaign. The black silhouettes, which contrast with the iPod’s white ear-bud cords, “make the iPod telegraphic and simple, and make that communication as fast in advertising as it was in my experience in the car,” says Alinsangan.

“The design of the iPod is so clean and free of anything ornate that we decided to keep the print ad as simple as the product,” adds Kraemer. “If there was too much copy, cleverness and headlines would muck it up and compete with the iconic visual of the silhouette.”

The shoot, too, was stripped down, notes Welch, who also worked on the first iPod campaign, showing music fans against a white background. “It was very simple in terms of how it was shot,” adds Welch, who took about 130 photos of each dancer. “It was more about getting something out of the people.”

The photographs were turned into silhouettes using Photoshop and retouched by Rocket Studio in Santa Monica, Calif., which removed the real iPods and added illustrated versions to make them seem more fluid.

The best part of the process, Welch recalls, was watching the models “making fools of themselves.” Several of them “couldn’t dance,” he says. “People put themselves out there.”